Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)THE SONS OF BENJAMIN AND BELA (1Chronicles 8:1-5).
(See Notes on 1Chronicles 7:6-7.)
Ashbel.—Probably the same as Jediael.
Aharah the same as Ahiram and Ehirosh.
(2) Nohah and Rapha.—These names do not occur in either of the other lists. The present series agrees with Numbers 26:38 in assigning five sons to Benjamin, of whom Bela is the first, and Ashbel the second. Further, there is enough likeness between the name Aharah here and Ahiram there to warrant our assumption of their original identity. But we cannot hence conclude that the Nohah and Rapha of our list answer to the Shephupham-Shupham and Hupham of the other. It is more likely that Nohah and Rapha represent different clans, which were prominent at the time when the present list was draughted. Rapha reminds us of the valley of Rephaim, south-west of Jerusalem, 1Chronicles 11:15.
(3-5) The sons of Bela here are nine, like the sons of the suspected Becher, 1Chronicles 7:8. But none of the names correspond.
(3) Addar the same as Ard, who in Numbers 26 is eldest son of Bela, but in Genesis 46 apparently his youngest brother.
Abihud (4) and Abishua are peculiar to the present list.
Naaman is a son of Bela in Numbers 26, a brother in Genesis 46.
Ahoah is peculiar, unless he be identified with the Ehi of Genesis 46.
Shephupham and Huram, younger sons of Bela in the present series, are in Gen. and Num. his younger brothers Muppim (Shuppim) and Huppim, or Shephupbam and Hupham. These fluctuations of statement are worth observing, because they demonstrate the vagueness of terms denoting various degrees of kindred, when used in describing tribal and clan relationships.1 Chronicles 8:1. Now Benjamin begat Bela — He had spoken something of this tribe before, chap. 1 Chronicles 7:6; but now he treats of it again, and that more fully and exactly: partly for Saul’s sake, who was of this tribe; and partly because this tribe adhered to David, and the kingdom of Judah, and went with Judah into Babylon; and now were returned from thence in greater numbers than the other tribes, except Judah. Bela his firstborn — So called by Moses: but the names of the rest vary from those in Moses. Therefore either these were Benjamin’s grand-children, or the same person had two or more names, which was not unusual.
1Ch 8:1-32. Sons and Chief Men of Benjamin.
1. Now Benjamin begat, &c.—This chapter contains some supplementary particulars in addition to what has been already said regarding the tribe of Benjamin (see on 1Ch 7:6). The names of many of the persons mentioned are different from those given by Moses—a diversity which may be accounted for in part on grounds formerly stated, namely, either that the persons had more than one name, or that the word "sons" is used in a loose sense for grandsons or descendants. But there are other circumstances to be taken into account in considering the details of this chapter; namely, first, that the genealogies of the Benjamites were disordered or destroyed by the almost total extermination of this tribe (Jud 20:11-48); secondly, that a great number of Benjamites, born in Assyria, are mentioned here, who returned from the long captivity in Babylon, and established themselves—some in Jerusalem, others in different parts of Judea. There were more returned from Babylon of the families belonging to this tribe than to any other except Judah; and hence many strange names are here introduced; some of which will be found in the list of the restored exiles (compare Ezr 2:1-70).The sons and chief men of Benjamin, 1 Chronicles 8:1-32. The stock of Saul and Jonathan, 1 Chronicles 8:33-40.
(a) He continues in the description of the tribe of Benjamin, because his purpose is to set forth the genealogy of Saul.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1 Chronicles 8:1-40 (cp. 1 Chronicles 7:6-12). The Genealogy of Benjamin. The Benjamite Families which dwelt in Jerusalem
1. Bela … Ashbel … Aharah] See 1 Chronicles 7:6, notes.Verses 1, 2. - These verses give five sons to Benjamin. Of the non-appearance of Becher here (1 Chronicles 7:6) and the appearance of Ashbel in his place, also of the non-appearance here of Jediael (1 Chronicles 7:6) and the appearance of Aharah (i.q. Ahiram, Numbers 26:38) in his place, notice has been taken on 1 Chronicles 7:6-12. Of the two additions to the sons of Benjamin here, viz. Nohah and Rapha, nothing is known elsewhere; yet it may be possible to count five families from Numbers 26:38, 39. 1 Chronicles 7:35 sons, in 1 Chronicles 7:36-38 grandsons.
As Helem is called אהיו, "his brother" (i.e., the brother of the Shemer mentioned in 1 Chronicles 7:34), הלם would seem to be the third son of Heber, who is called in 1 Chronicles 7:32 חותם. If so, one of the two names must have resulted from an error in transcription; but it is now impossible to determine which is the original and correct form of the name. Eleven names are introduced as those of the sons of Zophah (1 Chronicles 7:36, 1 Chronicles 7:37); and in 1 Chronicles 7:38 we have, besides, three sons of Jether (יתר), who is called in 1 Chronicles 7:38 יתרן. In 1 Chronicles 7:39 there follow three names, those of the sons of Ulla; on which Bertheau rightly remarks, the whole character of our enumeration would lead us to conjecture that עלּא had already occurred among the preceding names, although we find neither this name nor any similar one, with which it might be identified, in the preceding list.
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